Last updated: September 9, 2021

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Playhouses are designed to encourage children to play outside. Their greatest strength is that they are kid-sized and therefore children really feel at home here. They can play in their cosy little house on their own, with friends, read a book here or simply relax in their favourite place to be.

Kids love playhouses because they give a huge sense of freedom. They can delight in spending hours decorating their house however they like. If you’re looking to buy a playhouse for your child, take a look at this guide, which has countless handy tips and tricks to help you to make the right choice.




Key Facts

  • Playhouses are made to be outside and so are generally made of materials which are resistant to rain and sun, such as wood or high-quality plastic.
  • They are toys which foster creativity and let kids enjoy themselves in the fresh air, encouraging them to connect with nature.
  • Different models have a range of features and accessories, from verandas and railings to chimneys, letterboxes and maybe even a slippery-dip.

Ranking: The best playhouses

Sometimes the simplest things can make kids happy. If you have a garden, getting a playhouse can be a great idea. There are a range of options, with various models available. Many have incredible features: they can be multi-storey, and come equipped with multiple doors and windows, stairs and a veranda. Here are some of the best available.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about playhouses

Playhouses are very large toys where kids will spend a lot of time. This means it’s essential to keep a few things in mind in order to choose the right one for your child. Here are a few things you should know about playhouses.

Playhouses mean hours of fun.
(Source: Famveldman: 40928229/ 123rf.com)

Do playhouses stand up to all weather conditions?

By definition, playhouses are made to stay outside. Therefore they are not only made from materials which are designed to last, but also should keep well in all types of weather. However, this doesn’t mean that heavy rain or intense sun exposure may not take they toll over time.

It’s best to choose a playhouse which is made from strong, resilient materials like high-quality plastic or wood. If wood, thick boards of pine or native hardwoods are best.

Remember to choose models with solid colours, as these are less vulnerable to sun damage.

What benefits to playhouses have for kids?

Playhouses are not only decorative but also offer hours of fun and entertainment for little ones. What’s more, they also help with healthy child development. These toys stimulate children’s creativity and imagination as they create various scenarios as they play.

They are also fantastic for teaching kids independence, giving them time on their own whether it is playing or even reading quietly by themselves. On the other hand, they also build kids’ social and team skills because your child can play with their friends in their playhouse. Last but not least, they get kids outside and help them connect with nature.

Not only a tool for child development, they can also be very decorative.
(Source: _Alicja_/ pixabay.com)

Are playhouses easy to put up?

In general, playhouses are pretty easy to assemble. Also keep in mind that once they’ve been put together, they can be played with forever. Depending on the model, the playhouse may be made up of a larger or fewer number of pieces, but as long as you follow the instructions you shouldn’t have any problems.

The lighter types of playhouses, such as those made of cloth are much easier to put up than those made from wood or plastic. However, in all types, all the required tools to assemble are usually included when you buy a playhouse.

Are playhouses absolutely safe?

Of course, whenever you are buying something for your child, safety is of paramount importance. This particularly refers to large toys and equipment which could cause harm if not absolutely safe.

Playhouses are great for encouraging children to play outside.
(Source: Bak: 22306338/ 123rf.com)

In the same way, you will want to make sure that the materials the playhouse is made from are suitable and safe for children. For example, if the cubby has windows, you wouldn’t want these to be made of glass, but rather safe substitute materials such as methacrylate. In general, you should check that there are no sharp edges or rough surfaces.

Safe playhouses will:

  • Have no sharp corners or protruding edges
  • Be free from splinters or anything which may cause cuts or scrapes
  • Be strong and stable
  • Be made from only materials suitable for children (for example methacrylate instead of glass)

Shopping Criteria

In order to choose the best playhouse for your child, you should keep certain criteria in mind. These include age suitability and the materials it is made from, among others. Below we discuss the key factors to keep in mind when choosing a playhouse.

Age range

Demanding on the size and design of the playhouse, each model will be recommended for different ages. Some models, for example, are suitable for kids aged 2 years and over. Other, more complex models with more accessories may only be appropriate for older children. Generally speaking, most playhouses are suited to kids who are at least 5 years old.

Kids are enthralled with the idea of having their own little house up until they hit adolescence. They can use it to play quietly, read, rest or sit and reflect. Most products will include the recommended age range on the packaging, so be sure to check this.

Materials

When choosing a playhouse, it’s important to consider the materials it is made from. This is where factors like climate and weather come into play. Since they are designed to be outside, you must keep weather conditions in mind when making a purchase. If you live somewhere like Melbourne or Tasmania where you get a lot of rain, anticorrosive materials or durable plastic are better.

Wood, particularly the more resident types such as pine, is one of the best materials for playhouses. It is perfect for warm climates. Ideally, wood should be treated to make it as durable as possible, so make sure you get how the materials are treated and finished.

Building material Advantages
Wood Beautiful, natural design. Perfect for warm climates.
Solid and stable.
Plastic Suited to wet climates. Highly resistant. Simple to assemble.

Design

A playhouse is no good if your child doesn’t find it appealing. This means you should also consider their tastes and preferences. You’ll find there are countless different designs available, in different styles and colours. They also come in various shapes and themes.

Think about your kids’ favourite characters. Do they love Peppa Pig, Mickey Mouse, Frozen or Cars, or something else? Finding a playhouse in the theme of their favourite character is sure to be a winner. Also think about the features and accessories they might want, such as a veranda, letterbox or slippery dip.

Size

Playhouses can vary in size and the appropriate size will depend on how old your child is. For example, if you are looking for a present for a two-year-old, a house which is around one metre tall will be fine. In terms of the general size, the bigger it is, the more kids will be able to play in it at the same time.

It’s therefore essential to consider the height of its future users when choosing a playhouse. If you are looking for something for children who are a little older, you’ll want a cubby which is at least 1.5m tall. Also, think about where you plan to put it and how much space is available. This will help you to choose the perfect playhouse.

Assembly

Finally, it is important to take into account how easy it is to put together. Usually, it will be the parents, maybe with some help from their kids, who will have to assembly the playhouse. The easier it is to put together, the better. This is the best way to ensure it will be completely safe for your little one.

Generally, when you buy a playhouse, it will include all the necessary parts as well any tools you’ll need to assemble it. This means you won’t need to go out and buy more tools in order to construct it. You will not usually need professional help in order to assemble a playhouse.

Miranda PierceConsumer blogger
"The classic wooden playhouse can resist different weather conditions and even after years of use will still look good provided that you take good care of it."

Summary

Playhouses are an old favourite which is guaranteed to delight your kids. Children always love these toys because they are excited to have their own home. Here they can pretend to be grown-ups in their own little space where they feel calm and safe.

Generally, playhouses are suitable for a range of ages. There are some models which are perfectly suited to toddlers 2 years and up, and others designed for older children. Without a doubt, your kids will love their new playhouse. It only remains to choose the right one.

If you liked our guide to buying playhouses, please share it on social media!

(Source of the featured image: Yeulet: 89905161/ 123rf.com)

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